Three Concordia Student Union clubs are going to lose their office space in a shuffle, according to CSU VP clubs Ramy Khoriaty.
“They’re taking the space for academic reasons, so they’re transforming [it] into classrooms,” said Khoriaty, who first reported the move during his report at last Wednesday’s CSU council meeting. While Khoriaty was made aware of the move before council met last week, the clubs were apparently only notified on Monday.
The clubs in question are Ralliement Ã‰tudiant HaÃ¯ti-Canada, African Students’ Association of Concordia and African and Caribbean Students’ Network of Montreal Concordia, formerly known as UMOJA Concordia. Their current office spaces are located in rooms 5.45-5 and 5.45-6 of the Hall building.
Members of the three clubs said they only learned of the decision on Monday, and some only when they were contacted for comment on the matter.
“That’s news to me, because we were at the CSU meeting last Friday, and nothing was said about our offices being moved,” said ASAC IT co-ordinator Victor Ndambakuwa, referring to the clubs budget meeting. “If they give us time, we don’t mind moving, so long as we know where we’re going so that we can keep our stuff safe.”
Soraya Linge, president of REHC, hopes an imminent move won’t hurt her club’s plans. “We’re planning on organizing a big event for the one-year of the earthquake, and we need a room to plan the event.” The club was originally given a bigger space after the earthquake, but Linge knew the move was inevitable. “I knew there was a possibility to take the office, but I didn’t know it would be that soon,” she said. “It’s very unfortunate that they’re taking our room. For me, it’s not fair. In fact, we just got this space, and we’re just losing it.”
Khoriaty said he was notified of the problem when he met with the dean of students Elizabeth Morey last week after which he spoke to four of the executives, so if members weren’t aware it may not have been “communicated properly internally.” Morey could not be reached for comment before press time.
Khoriaty said of the decision, “It wasn’t a shock … they’re missing classrooms.”
In the eyes of Raymond Baptiste, VP public relations for REHC, his club’s office would not make a good classroom. “It just doesn’t add up because it’s not big enough to be a classroom.”
The two offices are tiny, he said. The REHC space does not have any windows, only a ventilation shaft, and can squeeze in only 10 people. The ACSioN and ASAC office, opposite the REHC’s, is roughly the same size, but has two windows.
The three clubs moved to the fifth floor spaces in September 2010 as a temporary solution when they were moved from their last temporary location on the 10th floor, because of construction on that floor. “So basically, we have already been downgraded a bit,” said Baptiste. “We don’t mind […] but the room that we have on the fifth floor is not bad.”
Baptiste was planning on speaking to Morey himself to try and see how to work around the issue.
Khoriaty said that the CSU and the dean of students were looking at two options: to move the Live Centre to the Grey Nuns building, and put the offices in that space, though there is no available space at GN; the other solution would be placing the offices in the storage space in the basement of Reggie’s bar.
If they cannot find a new space, Khoriaty said, they will have to move those clubs into another club’s space, “which is not very good.”
Club spaces are allocated through the university and occupants are charged no rent. According to Khoriaty, 25 out of 68 existing clubs have space in 20 different offices.
There is no deadline as of yet for the clubs to move out of their office spaces.